Tag Archives: Nigeria

My Nigerian Husband, Cheryl Strayed & I. Again.


Me: Sweetie, how’s your first trip to Canada?

O: It’s great! My only regret is that I forgot to pack WILD.


Me: Are you kidding me? Didn’t we just have a talk about not taking books off my nightstand, WILD in particular?

O: But I didn’t take it.

Me: But you planned to.

O: But I didn’t.

Me: Not because of The Rule! Just because you’re absent-minded. Which is why you would’ve left it in Toronto. With all my marks and annotations inside. When I have to teach it!

O: I don’t understand why you’re so agitated. You’re the one who asked how Canada was!

Me: Oh. My. God.

I Got the Part – To Play Me!


I’m so excited to get into the studio and start recording for powerhouse Audible, home of the largest selection of digital audiobooks! I’ll be playing the part of…me.


Yes, by sending in clips of Tavis Smiley interviewing me on his show and me interviewing Chimamanda Adichie for the L.A. Public Library’s amazing ALOUD series, I successfully auditioned to read my own memoir, the best-title-ever Shebook, THE NIGERIAN NORDIC GIRL’S GUIDE TO LADY PROBLEMS.

F&C On-Stage ALOUD Tavis Smiley

Sorry to @thandienewton and all the other lovely biracial African actresses I dreamed would play me!

half-of-a-yellow-sun-thandie SheBooks Watch and Wait cover



“I thought it was the end of my life,” Deborah Sanya told me by phone on Monday from Chibok, a tiny town of farmers in northeastern Nigeria. “There were many, many of them.” Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group, kidnapped Sanya and at least two hundred of her classmates from a girls’ secondary school in Chibok more than two weeks ago. Sanya, along with two friends, escaped. So did forty others. The rest have vanished, and their families have not heard any word of them since. <<Click on link to READ MORE>>

The Morning After (Our Early 1st Anniversary Party)


O (goes downstairs): Sh*t!

Me: What happened?

O: I fell asleep last night and forgot to come down and turn off the lights. I guess that throwing a big party is more exhausting than I thought.

Me: Or than you believed when your wife warned you.

O: Sh*t! Sh*t!

Me: I’m still right.

O (comes upstairs): Sorry, that second sh*t was literal. The cats. All over the place. I cleaned it up.

Me: Thank you! For cleaning up sh*t and being so patient. Amalinze’s arthritis must be bothering him. I’m sorry.

O: Oh, you’re welcome. Besides, I just had a birthday, which makes you think. When I’m old and in a diaper, now you’ll know what to do.

Me: Yeah. Call your sister the nurse and ask for the recommendation of a good nursing home. One staffed with Nigerian immigrants. 

O: Ha, crazy girl! That’s a good one!


The Dukkha of Loving Others: Homophobia In Africa


This year, we’ve asked some of our favorite dharma teachers, practitioners, and activists to reflect on the Four Noble Truths — suffering; the causes of suffering; cessation of suffering; and a path to cessation — from a systemic, social justice perspective. Here’s Faith Adiele on Homophobia In Africa.

Big Steps, Baby Steps in a Multiculti Marriage


A lighter moment, against the backdrop of the NYT’s account of the tragic effects of Nigeria’s new anti-gay law

Me: I saw X and Y Friday; they say hi.

O: Ah, we should’ve invited those guys to our Nigerian party.

Me: No way – the very next day your relation was in all the papers supporting Nigeria’s new anti-gay law!

O: I just think it’s time for people to face their fears. When I first arrived from Nigeria, I was homophobic, because I hadn’t been exposed. Nigerians need to learn how to deal with it.

Me: I agree, but I don’t feel comfortable inviting friends over if we can’t guarantee that someone won’t say something – or shake a bible over them.

O: If that happens, I don’t have any problem taking someone aside and asking him to leave.

Me: You’d throw a member of your clan out of your house? For real?

O: Oh yeah! And there’s no coming to The Back. In fact, I’m gonna start telling my people – don’t drink and come out to the back patio and start muttering about “Effing gays.” I’ll tell them, “This is a multiracial, multi-ethnic, multi-gender…what else? Multi-orientation household! No room for hate.”

Me: Wow, I married the best Nigerian ever!

O: And I married the best … what are you? The best Nordic-Igbo!

Me: Yeah, about that. What’s up with all the Igbo jokes your people make?

O: Uh, no time. I’ve got to go to work, my sweetheart!


Empowering Those Who Empower Others

Rushed through the detritus of last night’s Nigerian party to make my Skype consult with a new writing client who’s doing amazing work in West Africa. “You get it!” she cried, and I was equally inspired. It’s such a joy helping folks telling important stories find their structure and voice!

Grotto Class Screenshot

Only 9 days left to register for  Your Personal Odyssey: Explore & Tell Your Story with Faith Adiele (1/28-3/11)!

My first e-book part of Shebook’s soft launch

Shebooks is an exciting new e-book publisher of great stories by women, for women. The focus is long-form journalism, short memoir, and short fiction by some of the best writers in the US and beyond, both well known and yet to be discovered.


As part of their soft launch, my true story, The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems, a witty look at culture and healthcare, is currently available on Amazon. The cover art by Alicia Buelow is gorgeous, and those of you familiar with Nigerian signage will recognize the title. Do a search for “shebooks” to find other titles by writers like Hope EdelmanSuzanne Paola, Marion Winik and shebooks Editorial Director Laura Fraser.


Soon you’ll be able to subscribe to Shebooks and receive new stories on the web, on e-readers like Kindle and nook, and on Shebook’s own e-reading app. Each is between the length of a magazine article and a book—long enough to immerse yourself for a plane ride, or a good read before bed.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Shebooks has partnered with Good Housekeeping to sponsor a memoir about mothers contest!


I will be giving 2 free, public multimedia readings this week in San Francisco:

Friday November 14 is my debut at my new employer, California College of the Arts. I will be giving a multimedia overview of my projects and approach to memoir as the final WRITERS SERIES/FRIDAY SEMINAR:

3:30 – 5:00 PM

The Writers Studio

195 De Haro at 15th Street

San Francisco

Thursday November 15 is a project near and dear to my heart: a benefit reading/video on the legacy of the Nigerian civil war called LOOKING : BIAFRA.

Join EMERGENCY USA for Listen for Peace, an evening of literature and music to raise awareness about the realities of war, potential for peace, and the impact of war on civilian lives. Writers include Faith Adiele, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Genny Lim, Julie Thi Underhill, and editors of an anthology of Afghan women.

The event is free and open to the public, though there will be opportunities to donate to EMERGENCY USA to help contribute toward the funding of free medical facilities in war torn areas.

5:30 – 7:30 PM

San Francisco Public Library

Main Library (near Civic Center BART)

100 Larkin St

Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room B

San Francisco

My Igbo Sisters Initiate Interesting Model/Partnership


Umu-AdaIgbo, a social cultural organisation and initiative that serves as a rallying point for all black women across the globe who can trace their roots to Southeast Nigeria, plans to establish a specialist hospital.

The group’s Coordinator, Philomena Nnamani, stated this during the August home-coming meeting in Abia State. The home-coming event is a biennial meeting of Igbo women at home and in the Diaspora.

“We encourage all blacks in the Diaspora to establish links with their people at home in order to assist in empowerment and development projects,” she said.

Read more at Nigeria Daily Times